Broadway star Rebecca Luker has died at the age of 59 after a long battle with ALS.
A legend on the New York stage for decades, Luker starred in ‘The Phantom of the Opera,’ ‘Hannibal’ and the ‘Music Man’ among many others.
As The New York Post reports:
Her agent confirmed to the New York Times that the actress lost her yearlong battle with Lou Gehrig’s disease.
Luker, who was born in Birmingham, Alabama, was a mainstay of New York theater for more than 30 years, and her first Broadway show was “The Phantom of the Opera” in 1988. While she was a member of the original ensemble at the Majestic Theatre — playing the Princess in the “Hannibal” ballet — Luker eventually went on to sing “Think of Me” as the leading lady, Christine Daaé.
In the ’90s and aughts, Luker was the first choice for iconic roles on Broadway: Maria in “The Sound of Music,” Marian Paroo in “The Music Man” and Magnolia in “Show Boat.” As Marian, said Post critic Clive Barnes, Luker was “entrancing” and “matched up with the original, Barbara Cook.”
Luker was nominated for three Tonys in her career, for “Show Boat,” “The Music Man” and “Mary Poppins,” in which she played Winifred Banks.